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Paris - My Top 5 Vegan & Gluten Free Eats In Paris (Part 1)


I once heard 'Paris is tough for vegans'.   Pah!  Parisians are embracing not only veganism but health.  Ok, so I'm not saying that every inhabitant of the French capital is denouncing meat and jogging to the Patisserie, but if the legion of Bio and health food stores spread over the city are a marker then I'd say that Parisians are mindful of their diet and the origins of their food.  Artisan vegan cheese makers are rising in number and developing delicious flavours.  The near future is bound to bring Dairy Free Fromageries to our shopping experience. I found, like so many I've visited recently, is very vegan and gluten free friendly.

I was grateful to Happy Cow, et al (whom I will document in Paris Part 2)who list all the vegan eateries in the city. I grabbed my Euros (and I needed many.  Paris is SUPER expensive!…Seriously Paris, 4 Euro for a cup of green tea!? Hanging out and people watching is certainly not a cheap pastime). I was impressed with what was on offer.  After ten days of feasting and vacillation, these are definitely best five vegan meals, or at least dishes, I enjoyed on this trip.  I'll share the others in the next post.  The top five are in no particular order.  All the dishes are gluten free.

No.1

In my hunt to bring you the best vegan 'junk' food joint in Paris I discovered Hank Burgers Bio.  I use junk loosely rather than a reality of the food.  A fill up at Hanks manages to deliver HUGE flavours.  The best gluten free burger buns I've tasted..soft and actually like a burger bun.  Toppings and sauces that marry perfectly with their meatless bun.  And crispy fries that left me contentedly stuffed.  

Who's Hank?  Well, I asked that of Pierre (the guy on the right) the proud owner of this newly opened burger house (or should I say maison?!)  'I don't know' he replied with a warm smile.  Hank is a figment of his imagination and part of the whole branding of his establishment.  The small, clean and bright restaurant is situated in the uber hip neighbourhood (arrondissement) of La Marias.  Pierre is an earnest new chef,  not long wrenched from the world of tech.  He is a vegan newbie too. Only having notched up just over a year of meat AND dairy free living.  He told me a light bulb went off and not long afterwards Hank Burgers was born. LOVE.





55, rue des Archives 
                                                                                                                                


No.2

Next up  Le Potager Du Marais.  This berry crumble nearly made me humbly weep with joy.  The perfect balance of tart and sweet with a generous layer of golden crumble.  It needed no creamy embellishments.  I took an inordinate amount of time to thoroughly devour this dish. I scraped the dish clean and then I mourned it's demise!

Yes, I list the dessert first.  The courgette soup, with the lavish side of soft gluten free bread, was watery green vegetable alchemy... transformed into silky, flavoursome soup. But even this palled in comparison to the dessert.

If they injected as much love into the decor as they do their food it would take the dining experience up that final notch.







24 rue Rambuteau 
ParisFrance 75003

                                                                                                                                                                   

No.3
Pousse Pousse(pronounced puss puss..doesn't sound quite so good in it's translation Sprout Sprout).  Ah, the French language mellifluous in nature could make a tax return sound like poetry.  I loved merely just being in the City, surrounded by these sensual, exotic accents.  My efforts to emulate it where poor, but I did try my best.  Though even my novice attempts were appreciated, as more than one Parisian told me (in English).

This restaurant, just south of Montmartre, situated in an area being slowly gentrified (where isn't these days?!) has both raw and cooked dishes.  My tartelette sans gluten dish had both raw and cooked elements.  A host of wonderful flavours and textures on the plate that made eating quite a mindful experience. 






The raw dessert was fudge-y, chocolate heaven. Cacao nibs offering a wonderful bitter crunch and the added hazelnut butter battled for attention with the raw cacao.  I was transported back to childhood when Nutella was consumed in heaped spoonfuls after a long school day.  A little raw fig cracker commanded attention and served as a good reminder to try to eat with delicacy!  

All dishes are vegan with lots of gluten free options. I suggest booking ahead as Pousse Pousse's tables are few in number. 


7, rue Notre Dame de Lorett, 
Paris, 75009


                                                                                                                                                                  

No.4

Cafe Ginger a charming little vegan cafe tucked in a side street, a stones throw from La Bastille.  The staff were super friendly and it had a nice relaxed atmosphere.  I actually wasn't going to try this place but I'd walked to MOB and found that they were not like their Brooklyn counterparts and had no gluten free options. I hope this changes.  Anyway, so I had a quick chat with The Gentle Gourmet who are close by and they recommended Cafe Ginger.  It turned out to be a good call.  


They had just a couple of gluten free options.  I was actually glad the menu was limited because choosing can get exhausting!  I chose the vegetable crumble bake.  The polenta topping was delicately flavoured and complemented the soft stewed vegetables sitting below perfectly.  The plate was dotted with other elements.  Sauces, salads, stews, curry's and grains.  Like a restrained buffet plate! Great flavours and textures. 

The ONLY thing I would say is to make sure your serve knows you are gluten free and it may be worth mentioning with each course just to make sure they remember.  The cafe is busy and my server had to be reminded that  I was gluten free when running through the choice of desserts with me.  I had their raw carrot cake and it was good.





9 Rue Jacques Coeur (metro Bastille) 
Paris, France 75004

                                                                                                            

No.5


Joint winners take the fifth spot.  Each had their own individual merits. I could not choose.

Caroline, owner of The Gentle Gourmet and her staff were so utterly sweet, I could not help but love them for that.  I only tried dessert here.
I did forget that 'pastry' means a sweet treat to the French so when I ordered the vegan white Bavarian chocolate pastry I imagined a towering stack of 'buttery' flaky pastry amid clouds of thickly pipped chocolate fondant.  I actually got a cheese cake.  A delightfully smooth and creamy cheesecake with a gorgeously tart coulis that made this dessert sing.







24 Boulevard de La Bastille (at Place de La Bastille), 
Paris, 75012


And in joint place for 5th best vegan restaurant is 42 Degres.   A raw food (nothing cooked about 42 degrees to maintain maximum nutrients) restaurant in the 9th arrondissement.  I had to place them in the top 5 as their flavours were good.  The mushroom burger entree was a mushroom based patty in between two marinated portabello mushrooms that served as the 'bun'.  It was lovely but with a single kale chip and two green leaves it was not for the hungry.  The raw passionfruit torte was stunning but the meanness portion I've ever encountered.  I looked around and mine got the medal for the smallest portion given out in the room!  (I couldn't help but feel irked as being short changed!).  I would award few points to 42 Degres for value for money but  they make up for it with presentation and flavour.  If I lived in Paris I'd have this place on my list of favourites but I'd only visit it on occasion.  


109, rue du Faubourg Poissonniere, 
Paris, 75009

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Be sure to check out my next post…Paris Part 2.  I'll list all the other restaurants I visited and give you options for 'eating in' which can be found in most supermarkets.   Also, I will share the great blogs that helped to make my Parisian experience a good one.










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Pubs with Vegan Options in the UK


Find yourself hungry and away from a sizeable city and it can be a wasteland for vegans, and slim pickings for those with gluten or other food sensitivities.  Jacket potato anyone?  Oh yes, I'll just pop on my 80's shoulder pads, white stilettos and step back in time to devour this culinary masterpiece!

Back here in the 21st century changes are afoot. A trickle of inventiveness is emerging and SOME pub and cafe chains are offering those who prefer to live off plants and don't find a plate of raw carrots sticks and tomato sauce a dinner worthy of salivation, a meal with flavour and a bit of thought.  

A few weeks back I was staying in a twee little English village.  A friend was visiting and I didn't want to cook.  I heard something on the grapevine about a local Greene King pub that was serving a couple of vegan dishes on the menu.  Hoorah!  I called ahead and, hang out the bunting, ring the bells, they confirmed that they did.

I didn't quite skip with glee all the way there as I was a bit wary, however I  was pleasantly surprised.  The salad was tasty and filling.  The beetroot glaze was lovely and the tiny chillies added a gentle kick.

 Vitality (V)
Mixed leaves, rosemary-roasted squash, edamame beans,
roquito peppers, marinated olives, fine beans, chickpeas, broccoli, sun-blushed baby tomatoes, red onion, beetroot glaze £7.45 




Friend ordered the gourd and tomato soup.  It was not gluten free so I did not try it but he thought it was flavoursome and filling.



I contacted all the major pub chains in the UK in addition to Greene King, to enquire about their menus and if they cater for food allergies, etc.  Not one responded.  Charming.  However,  I visited Wetherspoons on a couple of occasions and they have a gluten free and vegan chickpea curry on offer in their Curry Club.  The website has a useful interactive special diets menu which lists food items to your particular dietary needs.

Do you know of any other pubs or cafe chains in the UK that welcome vegans and dinners with food allergies?  Please leave a comment below and I will add it to this post.  Thanks.

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